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FAQ


Beermaking

What is the shelf life of home made beer?
Beer that is stored and aged in glass bottles will last up to 5 years. If the beer is stored in plastic bottles it is best to use it up within 1 year.
What are hops?
Hops are a plant that is used to give flavour, bitterness and aroma to beer.
What is malt?
Malt is the main ingredient used to make beer.
What is malt made from?
Malt is a liquid or powder from malted barley which has been mashed.
What is the difference between light and dark malt?
Light malt is made with unroasted malts. Dark malt is made with a mixture of regular malt and roasted or caramelized malts.
What does the adding of crystal malt do to beer?
Crystal malt increases body, adds to the colour and head retention of beer.
What is hi-malt glucose?
Hi-malt glucose is liquid glucose with malto-dextrin added to it that will add body and residual sweetness to the beer. 
Why is it best to use corn sugar instead of house hold sugar when I make my beer during the primary fermentation?
Household sugar gives off a very cidery flavour when used in making beer.
What does using light clover honey do in making beer?
Light clover honey does not impart any off flavours and produces a very crisp finish.
What does adding malt do to the beer?
Malt adds more body, flavour and head retention. Malt, hops and water are the only ingredients used to make some of the world’s best beers.
Why is there sediment at the bottom of home made beer?
Sediment is produced when sugar is added to home made beer at bottling time and a secondary fermentation occurs to produce carbonation. In other words, no sediment, no carbonation.
What is the difference between using household sugar, corn sugar and malt when carbonating beer?
Household sugar gives a large soda pop style carbonation. Corn sugar gives a little finer bubble where as malt gives a very fine style of carbonation.
What is the difference between 6 row and 2 row malt?
6 row malt has more enzymes thus they are better to use when using other adjuncts. 2 row malt is more of a stand alone malt. 
What is roasted barley?
Roasted barley is a roasted, unmalted grain that when used in small amounts impart a reddish colour to the beer. When used in large amounts it adds a dark colour with roasted and bitter flavours.
What is chocolate malt?
Chocolate malt is a lightly roasted malt which imparts a nutty and slightly roasted flavour to beer.
What is the ideal temperature setting to make beer?
The perfect temperature range to allow for a successful fermentation of your beer is 68-72ºF.
What conditions should be considered when storing the beer?
Beer requires storing in a cool, dark, dry location before drinking. The optimum temperature is between 50-60ºF. A steady temperature is preferable, even if slightly higher or lower than recommended, rather than a fluctuating one.

 

Winemaking

How long should I age my wine?
It is recommended that you age your four week wines 3-4 months. Six week premium wines should be aged 8 months to a year. The best way to know when a wine is ready is when you like the taste of it.
What conditions should be considered when storing the wine?
Wine requires storing in a cool, dark, dry location before drinking. The optimum temperature is between 50-60ºF. A steady temperature is preferable, even if slightly higher or lower than recommended, rather than a fluctuating one.
What is the shelf life of home made wine?
4 week wines will last up to 5 years or more, however they stop aging after 1 year, so there is no beneficial reason to allow the wine to age further. With perfect storing conditions, a 6 week premium wine will last indefinitely. However, the 6 week wines stop their aging process after 2 years, after that they remain constant.
What is the ideal temperature setting to make wine?
The perfect temperature range to allow for a successful fermentation of your wine is 68-72ºF.
What is bentonite?
Bentonite is a clay product that helps clear wine and prevent chill haze in white wines.
What is the difference between #8 and #9 corks?
#9 corks are slightly wider - 24mm, so they give a tighter seal for long term storage of wine. #8 corks are 22mm wide.
Why should I keep my bottles upright 3-4 days after corking them?
You should leave your bottles upright so that the cork can expand into it’s original shape and seal your wine bottle. After that, it's important and beneficial to your wine to store the bottles on their side. 
Why should I sanitize my corks?
You should sanitize your corks to make sure no airborne bacteria cling to the corks and spoil your wine.
What should I sanitize my corks with?
To sanitize your corks, a light metabisulphite solution is best. Metabisulphite is a food grade sterilizer.
What is the difference between sodium metabisulphite and potassium metabisulphite?
Both are essentially the same. Sodium metabisulphite is slightly stronger so it is less able to dissipate.
What is a campden tablet?
A campden tablet is 1/16 of a teaspoon of either sodium or potassium metabisulphite.
What do campden tablets do?
Campden tablets can be used to sterilize a must or they can be crushed and added to water to make a sterilizing solution.
Why are potassium metabisulphite and potassium sorbate added to wine?
Potassium metabisulphite is used as an anti-oxidant and potassium sorbate prevents refermentation in the wine.
Why do you de-gas or stir your wine?
Gas is produced during the fermentation process of your wine. Stirring the wine rids it of these unpleasant gasses.
What does adding oak do to the wine?
Adding oak gives the wine the illusion of aging it in an oak barrel.
What does adding elderberries do to red wine?
Elderberries add colour and aroma to the wine.
What does adding elderflowers do to your wine?
Elderflowers give aromas to white wines.
What does adding wine raisins do to your wine?
Raisins add body, aroma and complexity to wine.
What does adding banana flakes do to your wine?
Banana flakes add body texture and aroma to wine.
What is wine conditioner?
Wine conditioner is a sorbated sugar and honey solution.
What does wine conditioner do to your wine?
Wine conditioner takes the edge off wine by masking unpleasant flavours.
What are finings?
Finings are additives used to help clear wine.
What is sparkolloid?
Sparkolloid is used as a fining agent derived from seaweed.
What is Isinglass?
Isinglass is a fining agent taken from the swim bladder of certain fish.

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